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Nomads of Nizhny Novgorod Podonya Hellenistic era (end of the IV-I century BC)



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NOMADS of NIZHNY NOVGOROD PODONYA HELLENISTIC ERAS

(END of the IV-I century BC)

© 2008 P. Glebov

Archaeological research bureau, 344002, Rostov-on-Don, Ulyanovskaya St., 50, office 3, v_glebov@fromru. com

Archaeological Scientific-Research Bureau, 344002, Rostov-on-Don, Ulyanovskaya St., 50, of. 3, v_glebov@fromru. com

The history of Nizhny Novgorod Podonya in the Hellenistic time is considered, characteristic of the main groups of nomads (sirmata, Scythians, aorsa) and the Greek colonies is given (Elizavetovsky emporiya, Tanais), the main military-political events in the region in the last centuries BC are analyzed

The article investigates the history of the Low Don at the Hellenistic period, gives characteristics of the main groups of nomads (Sirmatian, Skyfian, Aorsoi) and Grecian colonies (Elizavetovskiy emporium, Tanais), analyzes main military-political events in the region in the last centuries B.C.

A task of this work is consideration of an ethno-political situation in nizhnedonsky steppes in the Hellenistic time. Special attention is paid to origin of various groups of the nomads inhabiting Lower Podonye at different stages of the Hellenistic era, to participation of nomads in military-political and economic life of the region, problems of relationship of nomads with settled population.

Within the Hellenistic era in the history of nomads of Nizhny Novgorod Podonya is allocated several periods.

The end of IV - the beginning of Highway of century BC. Steppe Lower Podonye during this period it was populated with the nomads belonging to several various ethnocultural groups. In the delta of Don there was barbaric Elizavetovskoye ancient settlement including from the second half of the 4th century BC the isolated Greek quarter.

In the sinkretichny world of nizhnedonsky nomads of IV - the beginnings of the 3rd century BC, according to archeology, are allocated groups of monuments of both western, and east origin. Funeral complexes of nomads of the western origin (according to most of researchers - Scythian ethnocultural accessory) represent catacomb and podboyny burials from rovika and rich funeral feasts under individual embankments. Their majority are located quite compactly in lower reaches of Don and on a left bank (Vysochino, Krasnohorivka, Novoaleksandrovka, Novoni-kolayevka), and on the right coast (Royal, Kirov), to the east Scythian complexes are single (Coldyri). Many complexes can be subsidized rather narrowly: Vysochino V, kurg. 12 - the end of IV - the beginning of the 3rd century BC on knidsky and Chersonese amphoras; Novoaleksandrovka, kurg. 1 - the end of IV - the beginning of the 3rd century BC on the Chersonese amphoras; Royal, kurg. the 69-50th of the 4th century BC on fasossky and to gerakleysky amphoras, kurg. 71 - the beginning of the 3rd century BC on the Chersonese amphoras. Thus, monuments of nomadic Scythians appear in the Lower Podonye in the middle of the 4th century BC and exist prior to the beginning of the 3rd century BC

Possibly, in the considered time nomadic Scythians were force dominating in the military-political relation in steppes of Nizhny Novgorod Podonya. Most likely building of strengthenings around the Elizavetovsky ancient settlement in the middle of the 4th century BC was connected with the threat which arose from the Scythian horde which appeared in the Lower Podonye. Soon, in the third quarter of century, these strengthenings collapse [1, page 78]. Undoubtedly, destruction of strengthenings of the Elizavetovsky ancient settlement should be considered in the context of mass destructions and reorganizations on the majority of the settlements of Bospora approximately at the end of the third quarter of the 4th century BC which are considered as a consequence of the war of the bosporsky tsar Perisad I with Scythians mentioned by Demosfen (The speech against Formion, XXXIV, 8) [2, page 89]. At the very end of the 4th century BC or at a boundary of the 4-3rd centuries BC Elizavetovskoye ancient settlement was left by inhabitants probably owing to internal war Satire and Evmela on Is barefoot - a time [2, page 60-62]. However the nomadic population, contrary to opinion of some researchers [3, page 191; 4, page 7778], does not leave nizhnedonsky steppes along with leaving of residents of the Elizavetovsky ancient settlement - as it was already noted, datings of the latest funeral monuments of nizhnedonsky nomads include also the beginning of the 3rd century BC. It is obvious that for trade with nomads instead of the liquidated Elizave-tovsky barbaric ancient settlement in the mouth of Don bosporsky settlements - Elizavetovsky empory at a boundary of the 4-3rd centuries BC and Tanais at the beginning of the 3rd century BC are removed. Their active trade with the nomadic world is demonstrated by numerous finds of amphoras in barrows of nomads of this period [5, page 53, 55].

Nizhnedonsky monuments of nomads of east shape of the considered period represent the main or inlet burials in wide or narrow rectangular holes, is more rare in a lining, single or pair, usually from southern, sometimes with width orientation. The most known of them: burial in Novocherkassk, Karnaukhovsky, to. 43, item

1, Yasyrev of I, to. 1, item 2 Cold (Dubentsovsky III), to. 1, item 2, Krepinsky II, to. 3, item 11 and to. 5, item 4, Wet Kugulta (Northern), to. 2, item 3, Zhitkov of II, to. 3, item 2, Brines, to. 5, item 2, Azov, to. 2, item 3, etc. These monuments do not form compact territorial groups, are scattered on a left bank of Don, on the right coast only two complexes - Novocherkassk and karnaukhovsky are still known.

The group of burials in the dromosny graves opened in burial grounds Sholokhovsky, Slad-kovsky, Kashcheevsky, Nizhnedonsky Frequent barrows in the lower current of the Seversky Donets stands alone. Most of researchers hold the opinion on their east origin [6, page 86-87, 101; 7, page 6-15; 8, page 28-30] though there is also a point of view about Scythian accessory of these monuments [9, page 25]. The majority of pogrebeniiya of the Donetsk group are made under individual embankments in big dromosny under - square holes with wooden overlappings, burials often collective, the southern and western orientation of buried prevails.

Wide date of group of complexes of east origin - 4th century BC - the beginning of the 3rd century BC. A number of burials can be subsidized more narrowly: Azov, to. 3, item 2 - the end of IV - the beginning of the 3rd centuries BC on knid-sky and gerakleysky amphoras and a chernolakovy cup, Yasyrev of I, to. 1, item 2 - the middle - the second half of the 4th century BC on a mendsky amphora (S.Yu. Monakhov and V.I. Katz's definition); Zhitkov of II, to. 3, item 2 - the second half of IV - the beginning of the 3rd century BC on a gidriya with krasnolako-howl painting. In the Severodonetsk group it is narrowly dated to. 4 could. Sladkovsky - no later than the 20th of the 4th century BC on the Sinop amphora.

Emergence in the 4th century BC to Dona of the monuments of east shape comparable to Evdoks's sirmata (I, 1) and Pseudo-Skilaka (68), is considered result of migration of the part of the nomadic population of the Southern Cisural area on the West which had the nature of rather peaceful penetration (diffusion) of separate migration groups in the Lower Podonye [6, page 127; 10, page 80-89].

This short review gives an idea only of the largest groups of kochevnichesky monuments, without applying for the detailed analysis of all complex and diverse community of nomads of Nizhny Novgorod Podo-nya of IV - the beginning of the 3rd century BC. The main thing what there was a wish to pay attention to, - the nomadic population of the nizhnedonsky region in the considered time was mixed, a leading role, presumably, nomads of the western (Scythian) origin played. A hypothesis of broad expansion in Lower Podonye savro-is opaque or Sarmatians in the 4th century BC, led to destruction of strengthenings of the Elizavetovsky ancient settlement, and a bit later and to its complete elimination [11, page 96100], is not confirmed by data of archeology. For IV - the beginnings of the 3rd century BC can be spoken only about infiltration of separate groups of east nomads who joined the motley world of nomads of Nizhny Novgorod Podonya the 4th century BC. The military activity of savromato-Sarmatian on the Lower Don and in Northern Black Sea Coast in the 4-3rd century BC, contrary to the developed opinion, does not find reliable confirmations and in written sources - is convincingly proved by S.V. Polin and A.V. Simonenko that all mentions of Sarmatians at antique authors of the IV-III century BC are not certain, disputable and do not give any grounds for the assumption of a little mass penetration of Sarmatians in Lower Podonye and Northern Black Sea Coast before the 2nd century BC [12, page 81-98; 13, page 87-96].

The end of the first third of III - a boundary of the II—I centuries BC

Approximately at the end of the first third of the 3rd century BC. Eli-zavetovsky emporiya perishes along with many Greek and barbaric settlements of Northern Black Sea Coast. Tanais during this period representing the small settlement without serious strengthenings remains the only monument of settled population in the Lower Podonye. Approximately at the same time also the situation in the steppe changes - there is if not a total disappearance, then sharp reduction of the nomadic population of the Lower Don. Today datings of the majority of the nizhnedonsky funeral monuments of the nomadic population which were earlier dated 3rd century BC [6, page 27-43], are reconsidered. The top chronological boundary practically of all complexes which are giving in to a little narrow dating is the beginning of the 3rd century BC [12, page 67-69; 14, page 190-193]. Perhaps, some of kochevnichesky burials without hronoindikator with wide date of the 4-3rd century BC belong to developed 3rd century BC, but anyway some crisis and sharp reduction of funeral monuments of nomads at the beginning of the 3rd century BC are available. For developed 3rd century BC it is possible to assume incidental attacks of Sarmatians on Tanais without occupation of the steppe territory of Nizhny Novgorod Podonya [15, page 59-60], however, as Tanais for all the 3rd century BC exists without serious strengthenings, hardly these attacks constituted considerable and constant danger. Building of powerful strengthenings in Tanais belongs to the end of III - the beginning of the 2nd century BC [16, page 114; 17, page 109] and, obviously, is connected with emergence of mass of the nomads who created potential threat for the existence of the city.

The lack of reliably dated kochevnichesky funeral complexes developed 3rd century BC in the Lower Podonye looks an element of an overall picture of desolation of steppes west of Volga at this time - in the Dnieper Bank and Average Podonye monuments of nomads of a Scythian era also disappear at the beginning of the 3rd century BC [12, page 33 and settlement; 18, and only in Podnestrovye the kochevnichesky monuments which are undoubtedly dated developed 3rd century BC (the so-called "Tiraspol group") are known to page 90-128] today. In Lower Volga area V.M. Klepikov and A.S. Skripkin, allocate the horizon of the Sarmatian complexes which are not containing imports - hro-noindikatorov, but intermediate in a chronological scale between well dated antiquities of the 4th century BC and 2-1st century BC [19, page 96-124; 20, page 66-68]. However the indicators of the 3rd century BC allocated with V.M. Klepikov and A.S. Skrip-kinym - the kolchanny sets consisting only of bronze or bronze and iron vtulchaty tips of arrows, bronze vorvorka, iron vtok of copies, modelled vessels with talc impurity in the test and others, in early Sarmatian antiquities of the Lower Poe Doña are almost not known [21, page 34-43]. More than possibly that disappearance of funeral monuments of nomads is somehow connected with the accident which struck at the end of the first third of the 3rd century BC all Northern Black Sea Coast with Nizhny Novgorod and Srednim Podon-em. In all these regions there is almost one-time termination of life nearly on all rural and on some city settlements at the appointed time, on many monuments traces of fighting and fires are recorded. From all concepts of crisis of the end of the first third of the 3rd century BC in Northern Black Sea Coast (climatic, Sarmatian, the galatian Skye, economic) the version explaining sudden and general destabilization of a situation in all this the huge macroregion with a series of devastating invasions of Sarmatians (sir-mats, savromat) from the districts of Nizhny Novgorod Podonya, Prikubanya, Lower Volga area [11, page 101-103 is most popular; 18, page 149-152]. However Lower could hardly form Podonye base of Sarmatian attacks. As it was told above, nizhnedonsky the region was not Sarmatian at this time - among monuments of nizhnedonsky nomads of IV - the beginnings of the 3rd century BC only a small part has east origin and can be compared with sirmata of written sources. It is possible that the Don and North Black Sea nomads together with settled population became the victims of a cataclysm, but not his responsible.

The 2-1st centuries BC. Approximately at a boundary of the 3-2nd centuries BC in Lower Podonye comes from the East a migration wave of nomads - carriers of early Sarmatian culture, much more powerful, than in the 4th century BC, occupied all nizhnedonsky the region and extended further to the West to Dnieper. Early Sarmatian monuments of the 2-1st centuries BC have essential differences in the field of funeral ceremonialism from the nizhnedonsky complexes IV considered above - the beginnings of the 3rd century BC. As a rule, funeral monuments of early Sarmatian culture of the 2-1st centuries BC represent family and patrimonial burial grounds - series from several burials which are let in one barrow or several next barrows is frequent with line, ring or semi-ring arrangement of graves, or single inlet burials. Cases of construction of own embankment over early Sarmatian burials are exclusively rare. The most widespread types of funeral constructions for the early Sarmatian culture of Nizhny Novgorod Podonya the 2-1st centuries BC are narrow rectangular holes, a lining (sometimes bilocular), is more rare - holes with zaplechik, isolated cases of burials in catacombs are known. The southern orientation of buried prevails.

Proceeding from date of the earliest imports - hro-noindikatorov (the Rhodes amphora from a funeral feast in to. 4 First Veselovsky groups with Ariston II and Amintas's brands - the end of 80-60 of the 2nd century BC, varnish camphor of "the pergamum circle" with an ornament in style

gnatia (Kuleshovka, to. 1, item 29A) or with painting by white paint in the form of a garland with granular pendants over varnish (Cheerful, to. 2, item 6) - the end of the 3-2nd century BC, a fibula of a srednelatensky design - the beginning or the middle of II - the middle of the 1st century BC, etc.), it is possible to define emergence time on the Lower Don of monuments of early Sarmatian culture as the earliest - the end of the 3rd century BC, and most likely - the beginning of the 2nd century BC. Arrival to the Lower Don and to Northern Black Sea Coast of a powerful migration wave of nomads - carriers of early Sarmatian culture at the end of III - the beginning of the 2nd century BC is confirmed by destabilization of a situation in the se-veropontiysky region during the specified period: construction of strengthenings in Tanais [17, page 109], universal destructions and the fires on the Bospora rural settlements [2, page 93], construction of a system of defense of the Crimean Scythia [22, page 103], etc. To this date there corresponds also the first reliably dated certificate on constant presence of Sarmatians in the North Black Sea steppes - the contract 179 BC between Farnaky Pontic and a number of the low-Asian states in which text among the European masters the Sarmatian tsar Gatal is mentioned (Poliby. General history, XXV, 2, 12).

Nizhnedonsky nomads of the 2-1st centuries BC are surely compared with Strabo's aorsa: "aorsa... live on the Tanaisa Current" (Strabo. Geography, XI, 5, 8). Strabo provides data on their origin in the same fragment: "Aorsa and sirak are, probably, exiles of the tribes living above". The Don nomads, according to Strabo, took active part in the trade with Bospor going through Tanais: "It was the general shopping center of Asian and European nomads, on the one hand, and coming by the ships to the lake from Bospor, with another; the first bring slaves, skin and other objects which can be found at nomads, the last deliver clothes, wine and all other accessories of cultural use in exchange" (Strabo. Geography, XI, 2, 3). Slightly above Strabo writes that only mouths of the Tanais River as "the nomads who are not entering communication with other nationalities both more numerous and powerful blocked access to all udoboprokhodimy places of the country and to navigable parts of the river" (Strabo are known to Greeks. Geography, XI, 2, 2).

Besides aors to Dona, Strabo fixes a number of new ethnonyms in the southern Russian steppes: sira-k on Ahardey (Kuban), the top aorsa in Northern Prikaspiya and the Volga region, roksolana between Tanais and Borisfen (Dnieper), yazyg and royal Sarmatians between Borisfen and Istr (Danube) (Strabo. Geography, VII, 3, 13, 17; XI, 2, 1; 5, 7-8). A.S. Skripkin stated a hypothesis of correlation of all this conglomerate of earlier unknown ethnonyms with a migration wave for which replacement of a hunnama yuechzhy of Gansu at the end of III - the first half of the 2nd century BC, and the events which followed it - withdrawal yuechzhy on the West and taking of Bakti-riya by them was an initial incitement [23, page 28-29]. It is obvious that "the nomads mentioned in Strabo's "Geography"., which took away at

of Greeks to the Bactrian... moved from area on other coast of Yaksart" - tokhara, asiya, pasiana and sakarauk (Strabo. The geography, XI, 8, 2) it is also yuechzh, usun and SE of the Chinese chronicles. Emergence of huge kurganny burial grounds in some areas of Central Asia contacts this invasion of nomads which broke the Greek-Bactrian kingdom. A situation in the regions which were so remote from each other as Central Asia and the southern Russian steppes, looks very similar. In both regions approximately at the same time massively there are new monuments and unknown ethnonyms are fixed earlier. Possibly, both is a consequence of the global motion of nomad tribes from the East on the West which came on "domino effect" to the southern Russian steppes.

In conclusion it is necessary to stop on a question of presence of a Sarmatian component as a part of Tanaisa's population the Hellenistic time. Tanais in the 2-1st centuries BC endures the blossoming interrupted with destruction of the city at the end of I AD the tsar Polemon "for insubordination" (Strabo. Geography, XI, 2, 3). Approximately at a boundary of the 3-2nd centuries BC Tanaisa's citadel is under construction, the sharp growth of urban population, registration of a system of streets is observed. There is a point of view that the population of the Tanaisa who is torn off from the main territory of the Bosporsky kingdom and existing in lower reaches of Don in an environment of barbaric tribes substantially consisted of Sarmatians and meot [16, page 202-221; 24, page 239, 241]. However no traces of a sedentarization of Sarmatians in the 2-1st centuries BC in Tanais or his district, in general somewhere in the nizhnedonsky region are revealed yet. Comparison of funeral traditions of nizhnedonsky early Sarmatians and Tanaisa's inhabitants the Hellenistic time shows fundamental differences in the field of funeral ceremonialism of that and others [25, page 14]. Practically all data of onomastics and an epigrafika confirming residence of Sarmatians in Tanais belong to later time. Thus, according to all sources, Tanais in the 3-1st centuries BC was the bosporsky city without the resident settled barbaric population in the city or in the district. Certainly, contacts and interpenetration took place, but, it is how possible to judge by set of all data, a mass ethnic miksation of the Greeks-bosporyan inhabiting Tanais, and nizhnedonsky barbarians during the Hellenistic period did not occur.

At the end of the 1st century BC - the beginning of the 1st century AD on in the Lower Podonye there are events which changed an ethnopolitical situation and alignment of forces in the region radically. It is possible to refer arrival of a new powerful wave of nomads to the most important of them which defined the course of historical processes on the Lower Don in the first centuries AD - the carriers of srednesarmatsky culture which forced out or included in the list of early Sarmatians; Tanaisa's destruction by the tsar Polemon and emergence there new group of the bosporsky population, obviously, in connection with restoration of the city; resettlement to lower reaches of Don of big groups of the meotsky population and education peculiar Tanaisa's choruses consisting of meotsky ancient settlements.

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